Opening remarks at the public hearing on the renewal of the broadcasting licences for terrestrial broadcasting distribution undertakings

Speech

Gatineau (Quebec)
October 16, 2017

Ian Scott, Chairperson
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Check against delivery

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to this public hearing. Before we begin, I would first like to acknowledge that we are meeting here today on the traditional lands of First Nations. I would like to thank the Algonquin people and pay respect to their elders.

At this hearing, we will consider the renewal of the licences of television service providers, which are expiring in May 2018.

Background

A year ago, we mainly focused our review on providers’ practices regarding the small basic service and flexible packaging requirements.

As they were starting to implement the new policy framework, and with a view to ensuring long-term compliance, the Commission decided to renew the providers’ licences for only one year. We also established best practices to promote consumer choice and awareness. The short renewal period gave the CRTC an opportunity to further monitor their practices during the implementation process.

Questions to be discussed

In the coming days, we will examine whether TV providers are following the best practices set out last year relating to the small basic package and flexible packaging options. In addition, we will review whether and how they have implemented the requirement to offer all discretionary services both on a stand-alone basis and in packages of up to 10 services. This requirement came into effect on December 1, 2016.

We will also question certain television service providers regarding their community channels, and their compliance with requirements regarding local and access programming. Finally, we will discuss the progress of the industry working group on the development of a set-top box audience measurement system.

Procedure

I would like to make a few introductions before we begin.

The panel for this hearing consists of:

  • Caroline Simard, Vice-Chair of Broadcasting
  • Yves Dupras, Regional Commissioner for Quebec
  • Linda Vennard, Regional Commissioner for Alberta and the Northwest Territories
  • Chris MacDonald, Regional Commissioner for the Atlantic Region and Nunavut
  • and myself, Ian Scott, Chairperson of the CRTC. I will be presiding over this hearing.

The Commission team assisting us includes:

  • Sylvie Julien, Hearing Manager
  • Jean-Sébastien Gagnon and Adam Balkovec, Legal Counsel, and
  • Lynda Roy, Hearing Secretary

I would now invite Ms. Roy to explain the procedure we will be following.

Madam Secretary . . .

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